|How To Build YOUR Golf Swing
HOW TO BUILD YOUR GOLF SWING
This process is multi fold
1. Learn what YOUR neutral grip is
2. The CORRECT ball position for every club
3. The CORRECT swing shape
4. How far back YOU can take the club
5. How to play within YOUR style
You will have many options to choose from and I'll show you
how to find the ones that will work for you. Once you have
all of your "components" you won't need to experiment any
WHERE TO START - GRIP AND POSTURE
While this may be obvious to some you would be surprised by
the number of people that work on their swing without
starting with their grip. There is only ONE neutral grip for
any golfer! That grip is where YOUR arm hangs down from the
shoulder socket and the angle of YOUR target side hand. It
makes no difference whether you use an overlapping,
interlocking, and ten-finger (baseball) grip. What IS
critical is the angle the club lies in your hand.
To find YOUR neutral grip, first take your address position,
but without a club, and let both arms hang downward from the
shoulder sockets with NO TENSION. Most golfers will find
that their target side arm hangs somewhere between the
middle of the target side thigh to the inside of the thigh
(depending on the width of stance and/or the width of the
chest). As you look down at your target side hand pay
attention to the angle it hangs. Some of you will see two
knuckles of the hand, some will see three, and some may even
see four. It doesn't matter how many you see! Whatever the
number, this is YOUR bodies way of telling you its natural
tendency and that is the neutral angle for YOUR grip! When
you place your target side hand on the club it should be at
the same angle you just saw.
The club then runs diagonally from between the first and
second joint of the index finger to just under the heel pad.
Close the fingers and then close the hand with the heel pad
on top of the shaft with the thumb to the backside of the
shaft. This supplies pressure from the heel pad downward and
the last three fingers exert pressure upward. Then take the
lifeline of the trailing hand, located between the thumb and
heel pads, and place it on the thumb of the target side
hand. The lifeline against the thumb exerts the pressure
here; the right forefinger should be separated, in a
"triggering position", but with no pressure. It is important
to understand that the forefinger and target side thumb both
be on the same side and angle of the shaft for the best
support. The trailing thumb should be on the target side of
the shaft. You never want the thumbs to exert any pressure.
Finally, in order for the hands to work together, they must
be parallel to each other.
Regardless of the player's level of golf anyone can get into
a posture that looks as good as any Tour Player, it takes no
athletic ability to get into a proper posture! For full
swing shots, other than a Driver, the inside of the heels
should be as wide as the outside of the hips (for a Driver
the inside of the heels as wide as the outside of the
shoulders). Push the hips sockets back and up so that the
pelvis is at an angle, not horizontal to the ground. As you
push the hips back, and up, this will lower the chest and
place the weight toward the back of the arch of the foot.
Simply unlock your knees, you'll feel a little pressure
above the kneecaps, and let the arms hang limply downward
from the shoulder socket. There should be NO TENSION in the
arms or shoulders. Some players like to tilt their upper
bodies slightly away from target as the final set-up
adjustment and just because your trailing hand is lower than
the target side hand this is acceptable, just don't overdue
it. Now you have YOUR grip and posture.
Ball position is the most misunderstood portion of the
entire set-up. There have been many opinions about ball
position. Some say one position for every shot, others say
move it around depending on the club. All of the guesswork
is taken out however if the golfer would set the club at
address as the manufacturer designed it. All clubs, except
for the Driver, are designed so that the grip end of the
club is ahead of the clubhead if soled properly, this means
the shaft leans forward, not vertical or backwards! If you
address the ball, with say a 5 iron, and the shaft is
vertical then even before you swing you've added loft and
turned it into a seven iron! That same 5 iron is designed to
have approximately 8 degrees of forward lean at address. The
best players in the world, using that same 5 iron, have
upwards of 15 degrees at Impact! This turns it into a 3
iron! Having said that you have the option of setting up to
the ball with the shaft vertical as long as you can get into
the proper Impact position...the shaft leans forward at
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER start with the shaft leaning backward!
We also need to cover where the ball is located in relation
to the player's upper body, not the feet. The width of the
stance changes during the course of a round but the width of
the upper body does not. In addition, the target side
shoulder socket is the low point of the arc and the fulcrum
of the target side arm swing. Therefore the ball with a
wedge will be in the center of the chest, in line with the
sternum, for full swing shots, the 5 iron under the target
side of the chest, and the Driver at the low point, which is
the shoulder socket. This could vary depending on whether
the player has exceptionally wide shoulders, but for the
most part these locations will be fine for irons but the
target side shoulder socket IS the LOW POINT and the Driver
MUST be played at this location for straight shots! Back of
this location produces a fade, with no manipulation, and
forward of this location produces a draw, with no
manipulation. You may see some players playing the ball
back, or forward, of the target side shoulder socket but
these players must either change the shoulder location at
Impact, by leaning backward with the upper body, or must
manipulate the clubface to hit a straight shot.
AIM and ALIGNMENT
As you take your grip you must be sure the leading edge of
the clubface square. The leading edge is the edge closest
to the ball. Always set the clubface first, perpendicular
to the target line, then set your feet, knees, hips, eyes,
and shoulders parallel to the target line.
THESE LINES ARE PARALLEL TO EACH OTHER! NEVER AIM YOUR BODY
AT THE TARGET! What is the object of golf? To get the ball
in the hole with the fewest strokes as possible! To aid in
alignment it is imperative
that you utilize a procedure
called an "Intermediate Target". The intermediate target is
something between the ball and the target. It could be a
piece of discolored grass, an edge of a divot, a broken tee,
etc. It should be within your peripheral vision, so that
you don't have to lift your head.
MOVING THE CLUB
Because we play golf on an Inclined Plane this dictates that
the club MUST move on an arc. That means the club head is
only on the base on the Plane Line approximately 2 inches
during the swing! It also means that the club always moves
in 3 dimensions. The Backstroke dimension is backward,
upward, and inward all simultaneously and On Plane. The
keyword for Backstroke is "BACK". The hands and arms control
the backward and upward movement of the club. Therefore, if
you did not make a shoulder turn the clubhead WOULD NOT move
inside the baseline. The shoulder turn moves the club
inward, NOT back and up. So if the player just turned their
shoulders, without any hand or arm movement, then the club
would be inside but not back and up. These two movements
MUST work together to achieve the proper sequence. The
trailing forearm moves the club on Plane by "tracing" the
Plane. The bending, and folding of the trailing elbow also
raises and lowers the club and cocks and uncocks the target
side wrist. Never raise the arms and club by lifting from
the shoulders sockets!
The Downstroke dimension is downward, outward, and forward.
Once the player has reached full extension (follow-through)
then the club moves again upward, inward, and backward. This
completes the 3 dimensional swing.
LENGTH OF ARC
What does this term mean? Simply put, length of arc means
how far back YOU can take the club. Some players may be able
to take their hands high above their heads in the backswing
while others can only get their hands to shoulder height, or
less. It doesn't matter! However far you can take the club
and still maintain structure is the end of YOUR swing! You
can increase your length of arc by increasing your range of
motion. (see your local physical therapist for exercises to
increase your range of motion).
LET'S GET STARTED
Before every shot you play there must be a sequential order
of events. First of course we have to find our golf ball.
Once the ball is located we then must examine the type of
lie we have, the distance to the target, the shot shape
desired, the wind conditions (if any), how we're feeling
that particular day, whether to play aggressively or
conservatively or somewhere in between (this depends on our
style), and finally choosing the correct club for the type
of shot. We can't call this a "pre-shot routine" because
there is nothing routine about a golf shot! There are always
factors to be decided and these factors constantly change.
So we would encourage you to use the phrase "PRE-SHOT".
Pre-shot may or may not include a dress rehearsal of the
swing, a practice swing. During the practice swing you're
getting a feel for the mechanics involved in hitting the
shot and visualizing the ball flight.
ADDRESS AND SET-UP
Once we have gone through our pre-shot we now start the
initial mechanical and mental programming procedures.
Approach the ball from behind and follow this order for
success. Verify these six Impact Alignments.
1. Clubface to Target Line
2. Grip to Clubface
3. Hands to Ball
4. the Plane Angle
5. Pressure Points
6. Position of the Trailing Forearm
Balance, Grip, and Plane Line MUST be verified before EVERY
Now we're ready to start the backstroke.
Now that address is completed we can start the backstroke.
As discussed earlier, this involves two separate movements.
These movements are controlled from the waist up. The lower
body should be moved by the upper body if the player is
flexible enough, if not, then allow it to move freely in
1. The hands and arms ... the vertical plane
2. The shoulders ... the horizontal or inclined plane
At this point I would like to remind you that Address and
Impact are NOT THE SAME! The only thing that has not changed
is the ball position.
You may use any backstroke procedure you choose and there
are basically three that the announcers use to describe
1. A one piece takeaway...Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods
2. A two piece takeaway...Ernie Els, David Duval, Karrie
Webb, Anika Sorenstam
3. A three piece takeaway...Raymond Floyd, Nancy Lopez
Choose anyone you wish that feels comfortable and natural.
What initiates the backstroke? Ask ten different instructors
and you will get ten different answers. Some player's feel
it starts with turning the shoulders, some feel it may be
the hips, and still others think and feel it's the hands. I
believe it is a combination of the hands, trailing forearm,
AND shoulder turn that start the backstroke. Earlier I
talked about the role of the hands, arms, and shoulders
during the backstroke. They absolutely must work together
and synchronous if the club is to stay on plane!
As the club starts back the clubhead must point at the base
of the plane line until the clubshaft reaches parallel to
the plane line and horizontal to the ground. As the club
starts upward then the butt of the club must point at an
extension of the base of the plane until it reaches the top
of the swing. If you can't get the clubshaft to parallel,
then the butt of the club Must point to the base of the
plane line. If you are one of the few that can get the shaft
to parallel, then it should be parallel to the base of the
The hip sequence (how the hips move) for full swing shots is
always the same. They Turn, Slide, Turn. A great majority
of players think the hips slide in the backstroke (shifting
weight). While this certainly is an option it eliminates
creating any rotating force of the body. A better procedure
would be the one described above and is the option that the
majority of the world's best players use.
This article is an excerpt of my eBook - "How To Build YOUR
About the Author
Chuck Evans is one of only 31 Teachers in the world to hold
the designation of "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering"
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